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A bike?

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By: Zaira Carranza

Portland State University is located in one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world. Recently, I have been thinking about commuting by bike because I have learned how much it can benefit not only myself but also the environment. You gain money in your wallet, and lose inches off your waistline. If I’m willing to ride a bike instead of taking a car, it would mean that  there would be one less car on the road therefore,  less carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, and we will end up a bit more healthier. Would you do the same to save your planet and your wallet?

Grass really is always greener

Grass is always greener
By: Teddi Faller

Since moving back to my hometown of Portland as a transfer student from UC San Diego, I’ve repeatedly asked myself where I was/am happier. Happiness cannot be measured quantifiably, but I try anyway. Usually it turns into a series of points and categories.

The city? I have a different answer depending on the weather, and on where I’m asking myself this question. I’m not thrilled about rain, but I like having a holiday season that actually feels like a holiday season. Plus, nothing beats the realization that I could spend my lunch break at Powell’s – the bookseller haven. I’ve switched out palm trees and an ocean view for high(er) levels of caffeine and a compulsive book buying problem.

The school? To be honest, I’ve cursed both schools’ names, and for pretty much the same reasons: I just do not want to do school sometimes.

Then come the harder questions.

The people? I spent so much of my time at UCSD missing my friends back home, and now I do the same thing about my southern California friends.

My job? The only question that gives UCSD a resounding POINT in its column. My job at the UCSD Bookstore came into my life at a most crucial time and I miss it like crazy. Technically I do the same thing at my new job, but it’s awkward because I don’t have the same base of support at my new job that I did at UCSD.

Yes I miss UCSD, and no PSU isn’t solving all my problems – which, of course, I believed it would at my height of homesickness. But I understand that different things don’t mean bad things, and simply replacing old things with comparable things does not mean it’s as good or better. But that’s okay. Some days it truly, in my bones, bothers me that I’m not 100 percent thrilled with the way my life is going, but if I was ecstatic all the time would it not get boring? On the flip side, when the bad days do come, is my discontent only amplified by the fact that a “normal” day is only a lesser level of discontent?

I guess my only options to solve this “problem” are a) smile and fake it, or b) get over it.

Four Ways to Fund Your PSU Education

By: Andreea Nica

Focusing on your studies is a full-time job in itself. When you add finances and funding to the mix, it can quickly become very stressful for any student. Good news is that Portland State University has many funding opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students.Featured image

Here are four opportunities worth investigating:

  1. Graduate Assistantships: GA-ships are listed on the website as they become available. I recommend checking for updates on a weekly basis. The assistantships are targeted toward graduate students, and typically include tuition remission and compensation depending on the appointment. Make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page where all the assistantships are listed.
  2. Scholarships: Every year PSU offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to apply for a wide range of scholarships. Funding is dependent on many different variables, including academic achievement, financial need, diversity, disabilities and more. Be sure to check the website for upcoming deadlines. Create an account to begin the process.
  3. Student Employment: If you’re looking to earn extra cash while gaining skills in a certain area, finding employment through PSU may be the avenue to explore. Go to the “if you’re a current student” section, click the CareerConnect link and sign in with your Odin account. Thereafter, fill out your profile and gain access to available student jobs.
  1. University Studies: The University Studies Program at PSU is a great resource to develop your mentoring and teaching skills. If you have teaching experience, or are looking to enhance your competencies as an instructor, applying to be a peer mentor is an ideal option to funding your studies. Alternatively, explore opportunities to teach within the SINQ or Senior Capstone

What are you waiting for? Go get funded!

When the going gets tough, the tough get organized!

By: Brooke Horn

As a graduate student, I’ve learned the hard way that time management and organization can be your best friends when used properly — and your bitterest enemies when not. The modern student isn’t JUST a student anymore: most of us juggle jobs, internships, volunteering, creative projects, and relationships too. As the term really gets underway, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. On the bright side, there are a lot of useful tools and tricks out there to help you stay on top of things. Here are a few that have really made a difference for me:

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    Photo credit: Brooke Horn

    Trello. This is my go-to app whenever I work on a collaborative project. You can create virtual assignment cards, which are organized within themed boards. You can also assign tasks, add due dates, create checklists, upload files, and color-code to your heart’s content.

  2. Wunderlist. This app is your standard to-do list on steroids. Similar to Trello, you can share task lists with others as well as set up due dates and reminders. I use this app for my personal lists because of its simplicity. I keep one for homework assignments, one for events I want to go to, and one for groceries.
  3. Labeling in Gmail. Seriously, this is a game-changer if you receive a high volume of mail. I use labels such as “reply,” “education,” and “finances.” You can even create sub-labels, assign colors, and adjust your settings so that your mail is automatically labeled and sorted.

What tools and tricks help you stay organized?

Nine Things I’ve Already Learned This Fall

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By Grace Carroll

1. Living in a single can be scary. I almost choked on a corn nut.

2. Shared restrooms are not so bad. Despite living on a floor with roughly 25 girls, I rarely run into other people in the bathroom.

3. Volunteering is a good way to get involved with PSU. Volunteering at the Women’s Resource Center gives me the chance to help do important work in a friendly environment.

4. Yes, I CAN put off all the homework for my 400-level Honors seminar until the night before it is due.

5. College sports can be super fun. On a whim, I joined rugby, and you could say I’m having a BALL.

6. If while studying in the library, someone irritates you by loudly talking on the phone, DO NOT passive-aggressively write “SHHHH, IT’S A LIBRARY” on their notebook while they’re at the water fountain. Go to the fourth, fifth floors or the basement, they are designated for silent study!

7. You can have small class sizes even at Oregon’s biggest university. Last year, my classes had 30 students. This fall, I’m in a class of ten 10 (and the rest aren’t much bigger).

8. Unlike the “cool kids” in my building, I still love my meal plan.

9. Nothing is more beautiful than the Park Blocks in autumn.

Moving at the Lightspeed of Education

By: Shezad Khan

Over summer term I took the first year of Latin courses. It was my first experience with summer term, so I wasn’t used to being in school during the three months I’d usually be at home doing nothing. PSU’s campus was sunny and quiet, void of the bustle seen during fall through spring, and it seemed so much more relaxed. I learned quickly, however, that summer term isn’t to be taken lightly.

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One year of Latin was compacted and smashed into a rigorous and intense nine weeks. That’s right, Latin 101 through 103 in just nine weeks, that’s less than a third of the normal school year. We covered a week’s worth of material per day, and class was held Monday through Thursday – each class was three hours and fifteen minutes long. The baristas at Starbucks started knowing me by name. I devoted hours to studying every day. I had well over 200 notecards, three filled up notebooks, more than a few dead pens, and my quivering sanity that I was struggling to keep together – it didn’t help that I was working almost forty hours a week at that time.

That being said, if you’re considering taking summer courses, you should do it. Yeah, it’s probably going to be tough and you might want to cry sometimes – especially if it’s a foreign language – but you’ll pull through and you’ll feel very good about yourself, I promise. Plus you get to meet awesome people who are just as crazy as you for taking such an intense course!

SWING, SWING, SWING

By: Sharon Jackson

Every time I hear drums beat and saxes blow and trumpets wail of classy jazzzzz – I cannot help but to tie up my worn Oxfords and pin up my hair circa 1940′s style for my heart sings ‘in the mood’ to SWING.

East Coast Swing has finally come to PSU. Swing Out is one of the newest additions to Portland State Rec clubs. [We meet every Thursday in the Rec Center room 440, 8:30 - 10PM].

I SWING dance to live in the moment and throw my cares to the wind – I will always have time to write that 10 page essay on British Romanticism later………

We SWING to lose ourselves in rhythm. We SWING to smile. We SWING together.

We also frequent swing socials on Sundays and  Wednesdays that offer a complimentary beginner’s lesson and more than 2 hours of hopping dance.

What do you get ‘in the mood’ for?

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